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Historic England Research Records

Church Of St Mary

Hob Uid: 238724
Location :
Hampshire
Fareham
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SU6253004490
Summary : The parish Church of St Mary's situated within the walls of Portchester Castle. It was built for a priory of Augustinian canons founded in about 1128 by Henry I. The priory was removed to Southwick by 1150, possibly because the castle lacked space. The cloister lay to the south, between the church and the fort walls, but has been completely demolished. The only traces remaining are those of the lavatories of the reredorter which can be seen in the fort wall, and the scar where the west range joined the church. Built soon after 1130, the church was largely complete, although it is not known if it was finished prior to the move to Southwick. It was little altered in its later phase as the parish church of Portchester. Early in the seventeenth century the south transept was removed and the chancel reconstructed by Sir Thomas Cornwallis. Fire damage to the building by Dutch prisoners in 1653 was finally made good by Queen Anne's Bounty in 1706-10. The church is built to a simple cruciform plan, of ashlar blocks, with flat buttresses and plain round-headed windows. The building was restored in 1888. The churchyard contains a number of graves, notably those of maritime painter W L Wyllie RA and Thomas Goble RN, master mariner of HMS Victory at the battle of Trafalgar and vice-admiral to Lord Nelson.
More information : (SU 62530449) St Mary's Church. (1)

A priory of Austin Canons was founded 1133 (2) by Henry I in the Church of St Mary (3) which he had already built at Porchester. (5) The priory transferred to Southwick (SU 60 NW 6) between 1145 and 1153, (2) probably to avoid the military activity at Porchester Castle, (5) but retained the advowson of the priory church which became the parish church, until the Dissolution. (4)

The church, cruciform (the S transept has been destroyed) and unusually large, is almost entirely as it was originally built. The cloister and claustral buildings were on the south side. "Nothing of these is now to be seen ... except the traces of abutment against the church, and some arches of an ... arcade on the upper floor, at the south end of the eastern range, where it joined the Roman wall of the fortress. They evidently formed part of the reredorter, and shoots through the wall are to be seen below them. The Roman wall was cut away to some depth for their insertion ..." The doorways to the cloister are blocked. (2-6)

All that remains of the priory is the almost perfectly preserved Norman church. The only indications of the claustral buildings (the sites of which now form part of the burial ground) are the two blocked processional doorways in the south wall of the nave, the abutment of the roof of the north pane against the same wall and the arcade of nine bays over the shoots of the reredorter.
Within the chancel is a child's stone coffin, labelled as Roman (Probably from the Ro Fort SU 60 SW 1). Grade I. (7)

In normal use. (8)

Listed. (9)

Porchester Castle guidebook. The priory was removed to Southwick by 1150, possibly because the castle lacked space. The churchyard contains a number of graves, notably those of maritime painter W L Wyllie RA and Thomas Goble RN, master mariner of HMS Victory at the battle of Trafalgar and vice-admiral to Lord Nelson. (10-11)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1930-8
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 150
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Source Number : 11
Source : Portchester Castle
Source details :
Page(s) : 23
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Source Number : 3
Source : A history of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, volume two
Source details :
Page(s) : 164
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Source Number : 4
Source : The Victoria history of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, volume three
Source details :
Page(s) : 151, 159-161
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Source Number : 5
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 449-450
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Vol(s) : 42 (1885)
Source Number : 6
Source : Map of monastic Britain : south sheet
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Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 VJB 03-AUG-55
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Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 ASP 22-JAN-69
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Source Number : 9
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Fareham 22-OCT-1976
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Source Number : 10
Source : Portchester Castle, Hampshire [official guide]
Source details :
Page(s) : 20-22
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Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 141470
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 60 SW 7
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 238704
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 238499
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 60 SW 7
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1955-08-03
End Date : 1955-08-03
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 60 SW 7
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1969-01-22
End Date : 1969-01-22
Associated Activities : Primary, ST MARY'S CHURCH, PORTCHESTER
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1980-01-01
End Date : 1980-12-31